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The City of Albuquerque Commission on American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs (CABQ CAIANA) Issues this Statement on the Petroglyph National Monument tasing incident on December 27, 2020

The December 27, 2020 tasing incident of Mr. Darrell House at the Petroglyph National Monument raised concern from Indigenous communities across New Mexico, the Nation, and the media. The incident has triggered positive and passionate conversations about sacred and cultural sites, the right of Indigenous peoples to continue their cultural practices, and the use of excessive force.

We acknowledge that the Petroglyph National Monument is a cultural landscape that represents both historic vernacular and ethnographic resources. Many sacred and cultural sites are located within the city of Albuquerque, including the Petroglyph Park, and are protected under tribal/state/federal agreements. These agreements are enforced by the National Park Service pursuant to a Petroglyph Visitor Use Management Plan through the use of signage and education. While the CAIANA supports the rights of Indigenous people to practice their religious freedoms without harassment, we simultaneously encourage all people to respect cultural and natural resources and abide by the orders that protect cultural and sacred sites.

Regarding the use of excessive force on Darrell House, while we respect that the incident is still under investigation, we understand that he was not posing a threat to the Park officer who tased him. Regardless of the outcome, we do not condone any type of violence or excessive force on any human being in enforcing park regulations.

It is our hope that this incident brings awareness about the rights of Indigenous people and all New Mexico residents and to bring healing and education to our communities including federal officials who are hired to protect our cultural resources. We encourage Indigenous communities in New Mexico to continue to engage in community dialogue and work towards identifying solutions to these challenges.

We want to reiterate our position - we oppose any complacency and actions that fail to defend all citizens of this State, including the failure to protect individuals and communities from harassment, violence, injury, and emotional trauma.

The CABQ CAIANA supports education, training, and dialogue towards achieving healing, mutual understanding, and the resolution of conflict.

The CABQ-CAIANA serves as the forum for advocating the rights of American Indian/Alaska Native Affairs within the City of Albuquerque and surrounding areas.